In honor of Valentine’s Day:
The Meaning of Zero: A Love Poem
—Is where space ends called death or infinity?
Pablo Neruda, The Book of Questions
A mere eyelid’s distance between you and me.
It took us a long time to discover the number zero.
John’s brother is afraid to go outside.
He claims he knows
the meaning of zero.
I want to kiss you.
A mathematician once told me you can add infinity
There is a zero vector, which starts and ends
at the same place, its force
and movement impossible
to record with
rays or maps or words.
It intersects yet runs parallel
with all others.
A young man I know
wants me to prove
the zero vector exists.
I tell him I can’t,
but nothing in my world
makes sense without it.